The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently deemed 66 automobiles, 40 cars and 25 sport utility vehicles, safe for the road; a large improvement from the 27 vehicles that qualified at the beginning of this year. Among the highly safe vehicles, Hyundai, KIA, Volkswagen, and Audi had nine qualifying while Ford, General Motors, and Toyota had eight. Having eight vehicles classified as highly safe is quite an accomplishment for Toyota, who experienced safety issues in the past and subsequently faced numerous lawsuits. Subaru was the only auto company to have a winning vehicle in every class that it competed in. According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman, every major automaker has at least one winning model this year.
Some factors that attribute to the success of automakers in safety include standard air and torso side airbags accompanied with electronic stability control. According to members of the Institute, such features are most important when it comes to safety on the road. In addition, many makers improved the roofs of sport utility vehicles to better handle rollover accidents. Such improvement substantially contributed to safety success because stronger roofs that do not easily collapse under pressure lower the risk of an individual obtaining fatal injuries in a severe car accident.
While safe vehicles benefit everyone on the road, what is the over-arching factor that has contributed to the safety change? According to the Institute, The federal government. The Insurance Institute reports that more vehicles have been conscious of safety rules since Congress has passed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Under such Administration, stringent rules are enforced that nearly force automakers to make features like side-curtain airbags and electronic stability control standard. Regardless of the factors contributing to the improvement, vehicles that are more efficient in safety will benefit thousands by saving lives each year.